I was sitting next to a paddock fence observing a pony that wasn’t feeling well. I was deep in thought, so the nudge on my shoulder surprised me. It was my heart pony, Willowtrail Wild Rose, in the adjoining paddock, who had reached her nose through the fence, wanting my attention. I said hello and turned back to the object of my concern. Rose then began playing with a piece of baling twine near where I was sitting. I caught the movement of the twine out of the corner of my eye, and I realized she was trying to engage me, to distract me, to help me not be so troubled. I thanked her, remembering another time when she had offered her proverbial shoulder to lean on.
Rose’s cousin H, a pony overseas, often has behaviors similar to Rose’s. It seems H too has a knack for giving solace. Her owner relates this story: “My son was telling H about how sad he was that my Granny had died. H said nothing, but passed her bucket of feed over to him. Never ever has she been seen to offer food to anybody else, before or after. Of course it worked! She managed to cheer him up for sure!”
In my first story about Rose giving solace, she too bypassed her feed to give me her attention. In that story, I discussed one thing that was troubling my heart at that time, the death of a friend’s pony. Yet there was also another cause for my grief: the death of my mother. Despite being much younger then, Rose demonstrated the same willingness to give her time and attention when I was distressed. I wonder if I will ever completely discover how much these ponies have to offer. The exploration is heartwarming regardless.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2018
The first "Solace" story can be found in my book The Partnered Pony: What's Possible, Practical, and Powerful with Small Equines, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.